DENTON — North Texas hired Grant McCasland as its new basketball coach Monday after he won 20 games in his only season at Arkansas State.

McCasland replaces Tony Benford, who was fired after he failed to have a winning season in five years. The Mean Green were 8-22 this season and missed the Conference USA Tournament after going 2-16 in league play.

Arkansas State won 10 games the season before McCasland became coach.

"Coach McCasland is a rising superstar in college basketball and possesses all of the qualities we desired when we began our search," North Texas athletic director Wren Baker said. "He has been successful at every step of his career. He's a proven coach and recruiter, but most importantly, he has demonstrated the ability to help young men grow and develop as people."

McCasland, a Texas native, spent the five seasons before that as an assistant at Baylor for Scott Drew. A 1998 Baylor graduate, he was a guard under former Bears coach Harry Miller for four seasons and was selected to join the academic all-Big 12 team.

McCasland was 56-12 in two years as head coach at Midwestern State, and 143-32 in five seasons at Midland College with a junior college national title.

Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir said in a statement that ASU wishes McCasland and his family the best and that a national search will begin immediately to find his replacement.

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